Song of the Week

Hey Folks! I hope y’all are having an amazing week so far!

This week I hope the Song of the Week is not just encouraging but a reminder of about who God is and what He does!

In the great collective of worship music pumped out by Maverick City Music, I was drawn especially to this song. At the opening of their videos, it always reminds of how diverse the people of God are but that we all remain on one accord.

As the music begins, automatically you can feel yourself go into a sway of joy! I knew right then that this song was about to be a bop, in my opinion. I was in for a treat once the lyrics followed.

Parallel to Mark 9:23, the opening verse is a verse to remind us that through faith we can do all things. Not only that, but God is a covenant keeper and whatever he says to us is the truth. The songwriters of Maverick City Music knew exactly what they were doing in the chorus:

If You said it, we believe it
If You said it, we believe it
‘Cause You’re a man of Your word

If that doesn’t minister to your soul, I don’t know what will! To know that God keeps his word no matter what is such a comforting piece to me. At the close of the song, KJ Scriven ushers in a new phrase in the song that says:

I am what I am
‘Cause the Great I Am said He speaks over me

Two things here that I gathered just from this simple phrase:

  1. Jeremiah 1:5 highlights that God knew me before I was even formed in my mother’s womb. Just as He spoke a word of Jeremiah’s life, He has spoke a word over me.
  2. God is great and greatly to be praised. He told Moses right before going to the Israelite people to tell them that “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). Even in verse 15 NLT, God said that “This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations“.

With that, go listen to “Man of Your Word” by Maverick City Music ft. Chandler Moore and KJ Scriven in the link below.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Q & A with a Pastor

Back by popular demand is Q & A With a Pastor! There was so much wonderful feedback on the previous one and now we have another. If you didn’t read it, go check it out! This time the same questions appear, but with a slight twist! So sit back, relax, and read this very thorough interview with my featured guests:

Pastor Manuel Washington III and Lady Cassandra Washington

[HOAPK/ME]: How did you know your purpose? Not just as a pastor starting out, but as a Christian.

[Pastor Manuel/PM]: My purpose was always spoken to me, growing up. My grandfather was a pastor. My grandfather pastored over 40 years in Beaumont, Texas. He would always tell me, “Boy, you’re gonna preach one day. Boy, you’re gonna preach one day.” So, at an early age, I knew that one day I would preach the gospel. I guess he planted the seed from what God showed him in the Spirit. And that seed in my life just guided me, now that I really think about it, it guided a lot of decisions I made, things that I did, and the way that I thought about myself.

Growing up, through junior high, is when I really became conscious of what he was saying. Through high school, college, even after we got married, we went right into ministry.

My purpose was a seed planted in my heart from my grandfather.

[ME]: Since you said it was a seed planted in your heart, how far back was that, like about what age?

[PM]: I would have to say as far back as 8 or 9.

[ME]: Wow, that early?

[PM]: Yes. It was like I was born for what I was doing. The Bible says that, 2 Timothy 1:12, my favorite scripture, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,“. He enabled me before I got here, because he counted me faithful. He knew that I would be faithful to the purpose and the call that he had placed inside me. He anointed me and I was anointed and full of the Holy Ghost as a little kid. I had no idea!

[ME]: Wow! Well since it started from you being a little kid all the way until now, what would you say was the toughest part about being saved at first?

[PM]: The toughest part for me was the Spirit of God was raising me up too fast. That’s something you probably won’t hear a lot of people say. The Bible opened up to me so clearly and so easily that I became arrogant. I got puffed up.

I had a guy tell me I’ll never forget. In 1986, I was working at Compaq Computer and I was just sharing with this guy about some things that the Lord was sharing with me. I got saved in January of ’86, and I met this guy 3 months later. And he said, “Man, I’ve never met anybody who could break down the scripture as well as you can at such a young spiritual age.” Which is when I realized, hey, I’ve got something here.

But God just opened his word up to me and because of that I began to take it for granted. I took for granted the wisdom and the revelation that God was pouring into me. I felt like I could step out and still stay saved. Step outside of the parameters of how God instructed us to live because I’m cool, because I know. When I got out there, my latter end was worse than my former. I backslid in all October of that same year. From that episode in my life, I had a 2 year drug addiction.

I went into that speaking in tongues, Holy Ghost filled, baptised with fire, full the Word of God. But because of the fact that God was raising me up so fast, I became arrogant and puffed up and I slid right back into a worse state than I was before I even accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Can I tell my testimony?

[ME]: Yeah!

[PM]: I knew and I would tell her, because we were dating at the time, that you’re looking at a miracle and then would leave her and run and do drugs. But I would tell her, “You’re looking at a miracle” because God’s going to bring me off of this. It was during the crack era, when crack had first hit the scene. I would watch people, I went to Lakewood Church and my pastor at that time was John Osteen, come up and talk about how God had delivered them and set them free. They were on heroin, they were on different hard drugs, and I was like “God I ain’t on nothing, or shooting up, why don’t you deliver me like you’re delivering them?” Because I would cry out daily for deliverance, and God never answered my prayer. I could not understand why He would not deliver me.

Years later, mid-’90s, after I had gotten my life together, we had been married, and I was driving down the street. I’ll never forget it, I heard a Helen Baylor song, and in that song she was telling her testimony about her drug addiction. She hit the wall, slid down the wall, she was done. She said in that moment, God delivered her, she was completely set free from drugs. I’m listening to this song, and he answered my prayer in that moment. He [God] said, “Son, you know why I didn’t deliver you instantly?” I’m driving in the car and it seems like I’m experiencing it now. And I said, no Father, I don’t know why you did it. He said,” Because with you, I had time. Helen was behind my schedule, so when I had finally an opportunity to arrest her life, I had to deliver her right away because she was behind schedule.”

But He said, “With you, you weren’t. So I used the opportunity to teach you how to stand on my word and trust me. And by faith, step-by-step, day-by-day walk out of that addiction.” And that’s exactly what I did. I am so grateful to God that I was not delivered instantly. Because I can deal with some things that many people can’t deal with. God taught me how to stand on the Word, trust Him, and walk out of any situation. Amen.

[ME]: *Laughing and wiping tears away* Amen to that!

[PM]: That may be too much for the blog. *chuckles*

[HOAPK/ME]: No, that might be just what somebody needs. But besides your amazing testimony. I like to ask people, what is the easiest part about being saved?

[PM]: For me? The easiest part was living the faith life. That’s so easy. I don’t struggle with my faith. I don’t struggle to trust God and believe God. God has brought us out of some very hard places and it didn’t shake me. The easiest thing for us both is to trust God through any situation.

Another testimony!

We got in some financial trouble years ago and our house was in foreclosure. They sent me a letter and said we’re going to foreclose on your house in 30 days. I held that letter to her, and I said, “You see this letter? We’ve got to hold on to this because nobody is going to believe that God did what he did in this timeframe.” And we stood on the word of God, we prayed, we heard from the Holy Ghost who gave us the plan of action. We followed it out and walked out the plan of action the Spirit of God gave us. In 30 days, God brought us out of a $30,000 deficit. Turned it around with no money. AND THEN gave us a check for $25,000.

[ME]: WHAT?!

[PM]: So, trust in God! That’s the easiest thing for me in my Christian walk. I’ve seen Him do too many things for me. Nobody can tell me any different.

[Lady Cassandra/LC]: That’s the same for me. During that time when we were going through, he came to me with the letter and he was like, ” Baby, you with me?” And I said, “Yeah, I’m with you.” He said, “Even if we have to go live under the Pierce Elevated?” I said, “Yeah! And we’ll still be praising God, we’ll still be tithing, and we’ll still love God. ” So he was like, “Okay, let’s do this!”

I think we even prepared. We started getting boxes to say “okay, if He don’t do it, we still love Him, but we need to prepare to go somewhere else.” But we were still trusting Him to stay in our home. That’s what we wanted, but we were using wisdom, you know. God turned it around.

[PM]: We were even looking for rent houses. The Pierce Elevated here in Houston is a place where all the homeless people gather. It’s downtown on Pierce Street. Highway 45 is elevated above Pierce Street. All the homeless people live right under there, right next to the Greyhound bus station.

So I said, “Hey, if we have to live under the Pierce Elevated, we’re going to keep tithing, we’re going to keep trusting God, believing God, nothing is going to change. Are you with me?” And she said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” And I thank God for this woman because she said, “Yes, I’m with you! If we have to live under there, nobody will know we’re under there. We won’t go to no man for anything. We’re going to trust God.

[LC]: And I trust the God in him. God sees us through.

[ME]: For people who are struggling in faith right now, specifically a dry season, like a wall in faith, how do they rekindle that? What do you do first, then what should others do?

[PM]: When you hit a wall of resistance, the first thing I will fall on is the Spirit of God, praying in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said I’m going away but I’m sending you another comforter, a helper (John 14:17, 16:7). So the job of Holy Spirit is to help us.

I believe in baptism of Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. With that said, I live with the reliance of Holy Spirit, but I put a heavier reliance when I hit a hard place and I pray in the Spirit. That testimony we just shared was a hard place.

But that’s not what you’re asking, you’re asking what do I do when my faith is not working and I feel like I want to give up. You have to do like David and the Bible says, “He encouraged himself” (1 Samuel 30:6). Because a lot of times when you hit that place, nobody knows you hit it. Nobody sees you or the hurt you’re really experiencing. So in those moments, you have to rely on the God that you know. Man… not the God you heard other people tell you about.

A lot of times, the God you know is different from the God people tell you about. People will tell you about the God that they have experienced. So, when you hit a hard place, you have to rely on the God that YOU know.

With that said, steps to come out, because I’m that kind of guy:

  • Praying in the Holy Spirit.
  • Youtube is our best friend in our day and age. Find ministers on Youtube who are preaching faith or preaching on the subject that you are dealing with and plug yourself with the word of God. Anybody dealing with any situation can find somebody on Youtube that is preaching about that situation. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word” (Romans 10:17). You need to hear the word as it relates to that specific situation.

Back in my day, we didn’t have that privilege or avenue. If we didn’t have it on the cassette or already have access to it, you had to get on your knees and open your Bible. No smart nothing! You had to find the concordance, go through the Bible, and you write out those scriptures and stand on the word of God.

[LC]: And surround yourself with like precious faith.

[PM]: Amen! Who you hang around is extremely important.

[LC]: And don’t isolate yourself. The devil will try to destroy you in isolation.

[ME]: So, since you said to be with people of like faith. Who do you normally turn to?

[PM & LC]: Each other! *laughs*

[PM]: I have pastor friends who I turn to, but mostly it’s just us.

[ME]: So that’s why it’s important to marry somebody who’s of like faith.

[PM & LC]: Yes!

[PM]: That’s why the Bible tells you, “Be not unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Because when I’m down, I’ve got someone that can pull me up. Who believes what I believe, who stands for God the way I stand for God. That’s very important.

They can be as cute and fine as they want to be. That’s gravy, but that’s not the meat of what you need in a relationship. You know what I mean?

First Lady just got blessed!

[ME]: *laughs* So, just to wrap it up, since this is the end. If you could, both of you, give just one snippet of wisdom to a younger Christian, not in age but faith.

[PM]: The one snippet of wisdom I would give is to read the book of John, three times. The entire gospel of John, three times. That’s the first thing I tell everyone when they get saved. All 4 Gospels are similar except the gospel of John because John had a different relationship with Jesus than all the other disciples. He had a more intimate love connection with Jesus that the other ones did not have.

When you are newly born again, you need to connect to the heart of God. The book of John connects you to the heart of God in the way that none of the other epistles or gospels does. John calls himself the one that Jesus loves. How are you going to say that? But that’s how he felt. That’s the heart, with just getting saved, that you need to adopt to fall in love with God and to hold on to that love. God is love, and you need to connect to the love and heart of God.

[LC]: That’s pretty much what I would say.

[PM]: And stay in the Word. Devour the word.


Pastor Manuel Washington III and Lady Cassandra Washington are the pastors at Rhema Word of Life Church. They are located at 16730 Hedgecroft Dr #306, Houston, TX 77060 and you can visit their website at https://www.1rhemaword.org/ .

The Eyes

When I think about Sunday service now, there are many words I associate it with: virtual, Facebook, drive thru, zoom meetings, etc. Definitely not the same way I would describe Sunday service about 2 months ago, but this is our reality.

However, that’s not what I’m getting at here.

As my family held service in our home, I recall hearing the dream my dad (who’s a pastor) had. He had a dream of entering a hotel he had no access to at first, then seeing Christians partying and drinking in disguise from the rest of the world. Now I really pondered this thing.

Why would our fellow brothers and sisters go down a path knowing that the end only breeds destruction?

Then I thought about the dream I had:

It started out as with my cousins and I being on a road next to a church that I knew. I saw many of my family members headed down this long wide road. We asked what was going, but they said they would see what was going on. Instead of entering the church, we walked down the road and eventually we came to an impasse where the road met water.

We stood back to watch how others were navigating this route to go down. They would stick one foot into the muddy, rushing water. A huge step into the muddy water would cause them to fully submerge, then pop back up to rush down where the others were. They coaxed me to do the same, but I claimed, “I don’t want to get my feet to get dirty.” The road had now become flooded with muddy water. I turned away and began to head back to the church.

I felt anxious about the water coming up to my leg until I looked up for strength to run. I ran past other family members headed the same way until I bumped into a familiar man. He was not kin to me, but I embraced him from the side like I would my dad. Then I cried. The man said nothing to me as I sobbed, he only embraced me, to comfort me.

As I finally entered the church, I came in to see one of my aunts smiling and fanning, like she was dancing. I asked her had my cousins I came with made it; she answered and told me to find a seat. Going through the crowd, I noticed the other half of the church (where my aunt wasn’t) was weeping. They were mourning for people, but I didn’t know who. In contrast, my aunt and eventually my cousins were sitting with high energy waiting for a concert to come forth.

Dream only last two seconds, but this felt like an hour. I was so confused about what it all meant, so I looked up what certain images mean using Understanding the Dreams You Dream by Ira and Judy Milligan. After I searched, I still needed more explanation for what it meant. Then God spoke.

His explanation: Think of your family as the church. Some of you will go down the wide road of evil/destruction because of the unwillingness to change. Even now, after falling deep and popping back up in faith, they will still choose the same destructive path. Others of you will turn back and follow me. That’s why the church split emotionally. You will mourn for those who have fell to the ways of the wicked, but you will rejoice in worship of the coming of Jesus.

Although I had this dream March 29th, it made little sense to me until I came across Romans 11, specifically verse 7-8:

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

I know Paul was talking about the Jewish nation here, but I couldn’t help but wonder how true this is for us now. This crisis right now feels like a wake up call, but I am concerned for those who have not yet answered. Like my dad’s dream, I pray that none of us are trying to hide behind the facade of a pandemic to live in sin.

But we serve a gracious God who has forgiven us of our sins if we only choose salvation and to serve him. In Romans 11:23 :

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

So I urge you, anyone who is reading, to not fall into the spiral of sin, but to follow Christ this day. While you yet have breath in your lungs, thank God for saving power and His grace on your life. Turn your life fully over to him and choose the path of righteousness.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Healing: A Centurion’s Faith

Back again with a new addition to the Healing Series, we are going to dive into the faith of the centurion.

Let’s look at Matthew 8:5-13 (NKJV).

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

Whew! Let’s unpack this.

Looking at the centurion, he is considered a high-ranking army official in the Roman army. Mind you, the centurion is a Gentile, someone who is not a descendent of the Jews. However, this did not stop him in asking Jesus to heal one of his servants.

It’s important to note that Jesus was willing to go with the centurion to heal the servant. During that time, it was like fraternizing with an enemy. However, in God’s book everyone has grace and can be redeemed.

Knowing this, the centurion said to Jesus to “only speak a word, and my servant will be healed” (verse 8). The faith that the centurion had in this conversation was so great that even Jesus marvelled at it! The centurion trusted in not a laying of hands from the Lord, but just the words that he spoke!

Jesus honored his faith. In verse 13, Jesus healed his servant at the same hour because of the man’s faith.

I don’t know about you, but it convicted me. How much faith do we have just in the words of God? Everything is written out for us: healing, deliverance, love, peace. The word of God is tried and true, all we have to do is speak it, just as Christ did for the centurion.

At the end of the day:

Have Faith and Speak the Word!

Weekly Soap

At the beginning of this month, my family and I chose a book of the Bible to read and share with each other. I wanted to read either Psalms or Romans, but I struggled a bit to choose. Then I realized it would be impeccably hard to read all of Psalms in a month! Can you imagine?

With choosing Romans, I am enjoying the teachings of Paul and I wanted to share!

So here we go with the Weekly Soap!

ROMANS 7

Scripture:

22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Observation: Paul recognizes that as a believer, our inner man delights in the Lord and His laws. However, it is constantly at war with our flesh, the opposing force. Paul labeled this interaction as frustrating! Only deliverance through Christ Jesus would be his saving grace from the turmoil. He then concludes that in his mind, he will serve the Lord. He chooses the Lord even though his instinct or fleshly body wants to sin.

Application: This entire passage resonated with me. If you read further up at about verse 15 (honestly read the entire chapter), Paul’s writing played through my thoughts of how we can want to do right through Christ, but our flesh gets the best of it. His writing depicts this back-and-forth monologue that I have often had in my mind: whether or not to sin?

How often have we known what is right through God’s law, but have turned at the last minute to sin? Although we were “born and shaped in iniquity”, our only saving grace is from God, our father, through Christ Jesus.

Once we are saved, sanctified, and Holy Ghost filled, it is Christ who keeps us. Romans 8:10 says, “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving me from my sin. Although I know that I am made of flesh and that my nature is to sin, I know that by your grace and the gift of Holy Spirit, I am a free from the ongoing battle. Lord, I pray to no longer be carnally minded because it leads to death, but I pray to be spiritually minded because it leads to life and peace. Thank you, Lord, for easing my frustrations and helping me to always choose life. Continue to kill this flesh daily as you elevate the Spirit man inside of me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Song of the Week

Hello Good Folks! I hope your Palm Sunday was amazing in the celebration of the King!

I’m so excited about the upcoming days in celebration of both Passover and Easter. To know that Jesus took on our sin, died on the cross, then rose again with all power… it overjoys my soul!

When I think of the goodness of Jesus, and all that He’s done for me! My soul shouts…

To refocus, when I think about the love of Christ, it washes over me like a flood. To know that God sent his only Son, just for us, to die so we may live again, is a love that surpasses anything I could ever imagine. I am so grateful to the Lord for it!

And what do I do when I feel strong emotions? We match it with music! But I know that in Romans 5:5 (NIV),

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

This week, we have a song from gospel royalty, the Clark Sisters. In the hit, “His Love”, they expound upon the love of Jesus and how it’s everlasting. Partnered up with Snoop Dogg, the composition flows together mixing the old with the new. So take a listen below and remember:

HIS LOVE LASTS FOREVER!


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Healing: The Woman with the Issue of Blood

It’s a brand new month and I am so excited about what God is doing our lives! I posted on our Facebook page about how I was hearing the songs “Healing Rain” by Michael W. Smith and “There is a Cloud” by Elevation Worship.

I just believe God is doing healing in the Earth. Not just for infirmities, but of the mind, the body, the soul. Not too long ago, in Bible study with my parents at home, my dad led us to scriptures of healing.

18 “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.” (Isaiah 57:18)

I was so comforted by this that it drove me to talk about the many healings of Jesus. I wanted to start with the woman with the issue of blood.

Starting in Matthew 9:20-22:

20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:

21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

From those verses alone, it makes me want to shout!

credit from tenor.com

This woman had this illness for 12 long years, bleeding! I can’t even imagine what that is like, but she believed. She believed that after those years if she could reach Jesus that it would leave her.

There’s a couple of things I want to point out:

  • Her faith in Jesus.
  • That she not only sought healing, but to be made whole.
  • When she touched the hem, she was healed instantly.

When we look at faith, Jesus said,

For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place: and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20)

So even before the woman got to Jesus, she believed in what seemed to be impossible. She believed in a cure for what seemed incurable. However, it just wasn’t about her healing. It was about her soul.

Jesus brings total healing to those who seek him out. In the beginning of Matthew 9, Jesus knew that scribes the people after him would chalk someone being healed to some other source, but to forgive man of their sins was a different level (Matthew 9:5-6). He had to be sent from God, undeniably so.

But the last part of her story baffles me every time. Her healing was instantaneous. Right then, she would never deal with the issue every again.

In all this, this taught me the importance of faith. Although we may endure long-term hardships or tribulation, God delivers us out. We are whole through deliverance and we will never return to the things that caused us this pain.

We now have peace.